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Friday's NFL: GMs think remote draft will alter trading activity

Associated Press

To trade or not to trade?

An especially difficult question in this year’s NFL Draft?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the NFL to conduct its annual draft remotely, which might reduce the number of times commissioner Roger Goodell or anyone else announces a trade.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

General managers around the league said this week the remote nature of the draft will change the way teams move up and down in the order next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Spur of the moment deals might be difficult to engineer with team officials at their homes and not in “war rooms” in their headquarters. It will be nearly impossible to look around the room for a quick consensus.

And if a communications connection is lost — IT guys have been working countless hours to make sure that does not happen — or a phone goes dead, what happens?

The more likely scenarios for trades are ones that are premeditated. Take for example, the Lions and Giants, who hold the third and fourth picks overall, respectively.

Both teams have been listening to offers this week, Lions GM Bob Quinn and Giants counterpart Dave Gettleman have said. 

“It’s something I would very seriously entertain,” said Gettleman, whose team is in position to take a much-needed offensive tackle.

The Lions are listening, too. There has been talk of the Dolphins and others jumping up to No. 3 to grab a quarterback — or whatever.

“I think we’re going to have a pretty good idea Thursday afternoon of where we stand,” Quinn said.

Gettleman said the trade squeeze would be felt most after the second round. The first round is 10 minutes in length. The second is seven. Rounds 3-6 will fall to five minutes a pick. It drops to four minutes in the seventh and final round.

“It’s going to be tight to try to do that, to try to trade back or trade up,” Gettleman said of the final five rounds. 

“I think what’s going to happen, what this is going to force everybody to do, is do deals before their pick is up. So, let’s say … one team calls another team and says, `I want to trade up.’ They’ll make a deal off the clock, and then if the guy is there for the team that wants to move up, then they’ll consummate the trade. I think a lot of it is going to be done ahead of time.”

Hopkins expected deal

Most of the NFL world was stunned when the Arizona Cardinals pulled off a trade last month to land elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for running back David Johnson.

One of the few people unfazed by the deal? Hopkins.

“No, I wasn’t surprised at all,” the three-time All-Pro said.

Hopkins is looking forward to sharing a field with young quarterback Kyler Murray and receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

“I see myself fitting in very well,” Hopkins said on Friday. “I know what I bring to the table, those guys know what they bring to the table, and I feel like we’re going to push each other to make the team better.”

Patriots re-sign Butler

The Patriots re-signed restricted free-agent defensive lineman Adam Butler on Friday. The move adds some stability to the line following the departure of defensive tackle Danny Shelton to Detroit during free agency.